Final - OT
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Heat-Raptors Preview

Mar 12, 2016 - 5:56 AM While their offense has keyed a dominant stretch at home, the Toronto Raptors have been nearly unbeatable when they've been able to put together a complete defensive effort.

That isn't likely to be an easy task against the suddenly high-scoring Miami Heat.

The Heat hope Dwyane Wade will be able to go in the second of back-to-back games Saturday night when they try to deal the Raptors their second loss in the past 16 home games.

The Raptors are averaging 107.1 points - far above their 102.7 mark overall - and shooting 47.9 percent from the field during a 14-1 stretch at home. However, it was the team's effort at the other end that pleased coach Dwane Casey most in Thursday's 104-96 victory over Atlanta.

Toronto limited the Hawks to 42.7 percent shooting and 7 for 23 (30.4 percent) from 3-point range while also outrebounding them 48-33 and outscoring them 50-34 in the paint. The Raptors are riding a franchise-record 29-game winning streak when holding teams under 100 points.

"I saw toughness," Casey explained. "I saw a longer period of physicality."

Casey's club seemed to be both on Jan. 22 when it limited Miami to 40.7 percent shooting - including 4 of 17 from 3-point range - in a 101-81 win in the first home meeting. The Heat (38-27), however, played without Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Luol Deng.

Former Toronto star Chris Bosh will miss his 13th straight game as Miami tries to avoid dropping three of four in the season series. The All-Star released a statement Thursday saying he would love to rejoin the playoff push at some point after his latest blood clot scare.

Wade will try to recover quickly after finishing with nine points on 3-of-15 shooting in Friday's 118-96 win at Chicago. The All-Star guard suffered a bruised thigh in a 114-108 loss at Milwaukee in the opener of this trip that snapped a five-game winning streak.

DeMar DeRozan has gotten the best of his matchup with Wade in the past two meetings. He finished with 30 points in a 108-94 win at Miami on Dec. 18 and had 33 at home in January. Wade totaled 43 points but also committed a combined 12 turnovers in those contests.

The Raptors (43-20), who can get within two games of Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland, have won four of five meetings following a 16-game series losing streak.

DeRozan is playing well heading into this one, averaging 28.6 points in his last five games. Fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry has scored 27 per game and hit 17 of 41 from 3-point range in his past six but has averaged 15.8 while shooting 5 for 27 from 3 in his last four versus Miami.

The Heat should provide a tough challenge for Toronto defensively after averaging 113 points on 51.2 percent shooting - including 47.8 from long distance - in their last six games.

Dragic led the way with 26 points and nine assists against the Bulls, while Josh Richardson added a career-high 22 points and Deng scored 19. Whiteside contributed 13 points and 16 rebounds, giving him an average of 18 and 15.1 over his past 11 games.

"'Once we got the lead we started to get comfortable,'' Deng said after Miami broke open the game with a 34-15 fourth quarter, ''and then they were reacting to us.''